In the truest spirit of the jazz tradition, Carla White devoted her life to artistic exploration and growth. Born in Oakland, California and raised in Bellport, New York, Carla earliest musical education came from her parents' record collection, listening to everything from Stravinsky to Sinatra But her discovery of jazz at the age of 13 had a profound effect, setting her future in motion. The first time you hear jazz - really hear it, she explains, if it connects with your soul, it changes your life.
After years of study in music, drama and dance that included two years at London's prestigious Webber- Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, she embarked on a personal journey of exploration through Europe and North Africa. For nearly a year she traveled amidst the rich cultural diversity, singing in the streets, and even living in a cave. Remembering that uniquely edifying time Carla says: I traveled in an old VW van with no planned itinerary. I went wherever I felt like going whenever I felt like going there. The one exception was Franco's Spain where I spent a night in prison for no reason other than being young and foreign. Everyday was a leap into the unknown. Now I satisfy my desire for adventure by leaping into a solo and exploring new musical territory.
Upon returning to New York City in the early 70's, her jazz studies began in earnest with the legendary innovative pianist/composer Lennie Tristano. Combining the lessons learned from her mentor with the age-old jazz method of singing along with recordings of master improvisers like Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Fats Navarro, Carla developed the jazz vocabulary that has earned her such critical praise as: